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Top UK Filming Locations

21 February 2019 | Kate Plummer

The Oscars is coming! And whilst you may not be required on the red carpet (unless you’re Olivia Colman, in which case: Olivia, we love you, you’re fab) we bet you’ve secretly practiced your speech in the shower and pictured yourself in that lead role... So why not call “action!” on those dreams and take a trip to these famous UK filming locations?

Hatfield House, Hertfordshire
 
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ll know The Favourite is gathering awards glory and audience acclaim thanks to its innovative, punchy storytelling, incredible performances and grand visuals and design; the latter receiving one of the film’s 7 BAFTAs. However, the look of the film owes a lot to Hatfield House, as most of the film was shot there and Production Designer Fiona Crombie used the Great Hall’s black and white marble floor as inspiration for the film’s colour palette. Director Yorgos Lanthimos said he chose Hatfield because “from the beginning, I had this image of these lonely characters in huge spaces.”
 
Hatfield House opens to the public on 6 April.
 



Alnwick castle, Northumberland
 
For anyone wishing the wizarding world were real (try saying that fast three times) then Northumberland’s Alnwick Castle will make you feel right at home as it featured as Hogwarts in the first two Harry Potter movies, The Philosopher’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets. Keen Potter fans will recognise the exterior of the castle where Harry took his first flying lesson, while Mr Weasley’s flying Ford Anglia crash-lands in the courtyard before disappearing into the Forbidden Forest.
 
If witches and wizards aren’t your thing, Alnwick should also look familiar from everyone’s favourite rich-robbing romp complete with iconic theme song and rogue accents galore, the 90’s classic Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. More recently the Autobots and Decepticons descended for 2017’s Transformers: The Last Knight. We hope it wasn’t too muddy on the tyres otherwise Optimus Prime may still be stuck there!
 
Alnwick Castle reopens to the public on 29 March. 

 
Old Royal Naval College, London
 
I dreamed a dream that Jean Valjean was hanging out with Prince Charming, Captain Jack Sparrow, Sherlock Holmes, Thor and…Margaret Thatcher.
Seems unlikely, but actually they’ve all appeared in films shot at Maritime Greenwich’s Old Royal Naval College so we could probably make it happen in a very niche film edit.
 
The main courtyard stood for revolutionary Paris in 2012’s Les Misérables, while the famous Painted Hall can be spotted in Disney’s 2015 Cinderella as Prince Charming (wearing those leggings, woof) practices his sword fighting.
 
Marvel fans will… marvel at the epic final battle in 2013’s Thor: The Dark World which culminates in quite a large part of the College grounds being destroyed, thankfully by impressive CGI and production design only. However, the real movie magic happens when Thor finds himself at Charing Cross station and is told it’s only three stops to Greenwich. Now that’s a superpower all commuters wish they had.
 


Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire
 
Home of British codebreaking and the birth of modern information technology, Bletchley was the top-secret HQ during WWII for cracking German codes, helping end the war and save thousands of lives. We reckon it was harder to keep the arrival of Benedict Cumberbatch & co. a secret in summer 2013 when The Imitation Game filmed key scenes there. Focusing on mathematician (and recent BBC Icon of the 20th Century) Alan Turing and his vital role at Bletchley, cast and crew have all marvelled at the size of the operation undertaken at Bletchley and how important it was to film there.
 
You can read more about the secrets of Bletchley Park in our feature here.
 

Bourne Woods, Surrey
 
If you go down to the woods today you’ll probably end up stumbling upon a film crew, if Bourne Woods is your destination. The woods have played home to a smorgasbord of recent movie moments, including in Children of Men, Wonder Woman, War Horse, Snow White & The Huntsman, and various Avengers and Harry Potter instalments, which is no surprise considering that since 2013 the filming location can be used for up to 6 months per year. Perhaps Bourne Woods’ most momentous on-screen moment was the gargantuan bloody battle at the start of Gladiator, where Maximus’ Roman Army defeats the Germanic hordes. Probably wouldn’t have been a good idea to walk the dog there on that day.
 

Chatsworth House, Derbyshire  
Got a passion for a Period Drama? Step into the world of cinematic aristocracy with a trip to Pemberley …err we mean Chatsworth House. This stately home in Derbyshire is rumoured to have been Jane Austen’s inspiration for Mr Darcy’s home Pemberley in Pride & Prejudice, so it makes sense that the 2005 production had grand designs on putting their Mr Darcy in Chatsworth (and not shirtless in a lake – shame!).
 
Keira Knightly, Queen of the costume drama, was back at Chatsworth after Pride & Prejudice for the 2008 British drama The Duchess playing a character with an even closer connection to the stately home, Georgiana Cavendish, the real-life Duchess of Devonshire, who lived at Chatsworth during her lifetime – now that’s historical accuracy.
 
Chatsworth House opens to the public on 23 March. The grounds are open now.
 

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